Cube-Satellite Based Ship and Aircraft Tracking Improves Situational Awareness

M. Carhart
Spire Global, Inc., Virginia, United States

Keywords: Cube-Sat, LEO, MDA, Aviation, Situational Awareness

Spire designs, builds, owns, and operates a low earth orbit constellation of more than 60 3U Cube-Satellites, as well as a global network of 29 ground stations with a real-time acquisition and processing system, and a cloud based data distribution service. The 3U satellite form-factor maximizes launch opportunities and supports a very rapid tech-refresh cycle. Spire’s satellites carry ship, aircraft and weather sensor payloads. The Spire Automatic Identification Service (AIS) service is very robust as we are capturing ~ 15M AIS messages per day from the global fleet of over 350,00 AIS equipped vessels. The Spire Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) aircraft tracking service is nearing initial operational capability with our first 6 ADS-B payload equipped satellites are on orbit and undergoing checkout and testing. Spire makes the data services available with a subscription to a cloud based distribution service that leverages a restful API. Spire has integrated the data services with several visualization software packages and our web based viewer to help fuse the data types into a single pane of glass.